Day 3 – First Year Teacher – Visualizations


Job Opportunity In (Anonymous City) Public School System 
Scenario 1:
I walk into the room on the first day of school, with confidence. I feel a wave of assuredness as the seats have been placed neatly in their arcs. I am wearing my favorite blazer. My hair is combed back. I have prepared the room perfectly. An objective is written out on the board in my neat handwriting, and a “Welcome Back” message is projected on the board. 

I ooze confidence. I’ve done this before. I am teacher. The kids walk into class. It is their first day of band – they are excited to be here. I am excited to be here. I introduce myself. I am teacher. Make a joke. They laugh. They like me. I get serious. I talk about procedures, and class expectations. A student interrupts me. I raise an eyebrow, and gently remind student of the rules. “I love for you to talk – but only when you raise your hand first”

I continue instruction. I am teacher. I am respected. The students look at me with eyes that are shining. Their mouths are slightly agape. They are practically scratching at their instrument cases, bursting with eagerness to start the first day of band class. Do they know how to play? No. But I am confident that I can lead them to. I tell them this. “Soon – every one in this room will be a maestro” 

Scenario 2
Chairs are scattered around the room. I try and get the students attention. I clap my hands. They aren’t in first grade anymore… No response. I try yelling, but my voice feels shrill and camouflaged amongst the chatter. Trombone player in the back has his instrument out of the case, and the metal clangs on the floor. Trumpet player is throwing pencils and trying to make a ‘basket’ into the tuba bell. Saxophonists are pretending to strangle themselves with their neck straps. The flutists are sitting nicely, looking annoyed. At me. 

Kid in the back of the room has friend in a headlock. No. He is using said friend to beat the bass drum. “No! Stop! What are you doing?!” How do I control this mess? I walk to the back of the room and give a stern direction to the kids, and they look at me, smile, and continue banging. Now I look to the front of the room, and there are the clarinet players, writing on the front board , “Ms. Mac can suck my dick” 

I feel my nose begin to tingle and then run because of the pressure of my held back tears. How can I do this? How can I organize this chaos? Why don’t these kids like me? Why am I not good enough? Do they realize that I am a human? Do they realize that this hurts me? 

Can I ever be good enough?

Todays adventure brought to you by: 

A horrible fear of my first year of teaching


The exuberance that I feel because I know I have landed in the right profession and I couldn’t be more excited to get my feet wet




Day 2 – Tales from a CPR course gone (slightly) awry

There are 7 people sitting around the table, in the following order:

Teacher #1, Day Care Professional Woman with Pink Shirt On, Hot Male Nurse, Average 50 Year Old Woman With No Reason To be In the CPR Class Other Than The Goodness of Her Heart, Hot Female Nurse, Teacher #2, Young Serbian Engineer, Older Engineer With Hip Round Glasses.

Me – I am standing in the front of my class anxiously willing my phone to load the pdf of my certificate allowing me to be there. You see – We were supposed to print it out before coming to class. I didn’t have a printer at home (Classic excuse! I learned that in middle school!)

“I had it open before I came here!” I say, to the round table of gentle sneers, laughing at my youngness. My lack of preparation. Laughing in disbelief that I could be qualified to teach!

Hot Male Nurse makes eye contact with me. I do not want this. “Is it still not working?” He asks me, gently. As if his horrible, attractive, kind face that was speckled with freckles, and blushed over with the sun, could make my current situation better. I shake my head. If it was working I wouldn’t still be standing up here.

The instructor, a black woman in her mid-forties raises an eyebrow at me. I shrunk a little, more than aware that I was wasting her time. “All you millennials are the same!” She said, with a chuckle. “Never prepared.”

Great. Now I have failed my generation.

Teacher #1 chimes in. “I’m a millennial. I was prepared.” She is blonde. Her hair softly cascades around her shoulders. A soft chuckle spreads across the room like wind rustling through a tree.

Thank you.  I’m glad you made that clear. 

I am still fumbling around, hoping in vain for my phone to get service. My hands are sweating. They feel sticky and they sting ever so slightly. My fingers feel fat and clumsy. Every movement that I make feels thought through, and in-turn, judged. I shift in my feet. I feel my shorts pinching at my stomach. My hair is slipping out of it’s ponytail. This moment, so small, but so unfamiliar feels like it is weighing me down with embarrassment. I think about leaving and coming back another day. That is probably what I would have done, if it wasn’t for the $90 that I paid to be here.

I look up, and I see on the wall right in front of me there is a small flyer. On it is a wifi password. Relief flows into my body through the tip of my finger on my phone screen. I hurriedly connect to the wifi.

I show the instructor the certificate and she smiles, and tells me to take a seat. I clutch the pack of first aid materials she gave me, anxious to get this class over with.

The rest of the class was fine. Now I can officially and legally save a life. So I guess that is worth it…






Day 1: Bruised Shins

I am not a climber. I do enjoy the outdoors.  I do enjoy running and hiking and walking and adventuring. I very much enjoy the idea of climbing, a human against nature. So periodically, I will take a stab at the activity in one way or another. Today, it was climbing a boulder. This boulder sat in the middle of a grass clearing, beckoning me, in its own silent, idle way. It was no taller than me, and its rock skin was soft and worn from many years of sitting in a clearing and beckoning people to climb it. So, I listened to its call, and scampered to the top of it.

Scamper is actually a terribly inaccurate verb to describe what I looked like while scaling the large stone beast. I stood at the bottom of the rock, and attempted to lug one clumsy leg over the top, as if it were a horse. However, a rock of this size is no tamable beast, and my leg quickly came flopping down as a I realized I was going to have think of a different strategy. At this point I noticed a handhold at the top, so I went on my tip-toes and clutched the small divot with both hands, feeling the cool sandstone poke its way into my fingernails. From here, I was able to squirm both of my legs onto the side of the boulder, so I was standing in an awkward squat on the rock only about 6 inches off of the ground. Using the strength in my arms, and I was able to hoist myself upwards enough to throw my left leg over the top of the rock. Unfortunately, this mean I banged my shin against the side of the boulder with about as much force as my leg had. Damn, I’m going to have a bruise. 

But I had made it. I stood up, my legs wobbling in protest to this experience. I tried to ignore their uncertainty and put my hands on my waist, inhaling deeply.  Why did I feel this satisfaction from my perch five feet off of the ground? Why was it that the early spring breeze smelled a little sweeter up here? I let my thoughts plateau as I lingered in this place of still solitude. However, my pulsing shin and the quickly darkening night sky made me realize that I no longer had a place on this boulder. In a slightly more graceful manner, I shimmied down the rock and began the walk towards home.

I cannot be the only person that hold a deep inward desire to poke my newly developed bruises. As I write this, I am hyper aware of the light gray welt that has begun to on the very front of my left shin, because every time I take my fingers away from this laptop keyboard, I poke at the purple mass until my nerves endings cry out and tell me to please please stop. Maybe I do it to remind myself of that boulder. Maybe I just do it because the option to do it exists. It doesn’t matter, really. The bruise exists, and tomorrow it will probably grow even more.

Next time I decide to scale a boulder, I hope to come out unscathed. But if I don’t, hey-at least I’ll have another tiny adventure to tell.